“We are working towards achieving self sufficiency in pulses production since the Modi government took over. Now we need to work towards meeting requirement which is likely to go up to 32 million tonnes by 2050. We have focused heavily on cultivation of pulses. This has reduced the import of pulses drastically,” Tomar said, while addressing on the occasion of world pulses day.
He said that the government has promoted cultivation of pulses by purchasing pulses at minimum support price (MSP).
“We have increased MSP of pulses by 40-73% in last 6 years. The payment to pulses farmer has gone up by 40 times to Rs 10,530 crore,” he said.
Tomar said that pulses are the sources of protein to people and it helps in fighting against malnutrition.
The sowing of pulses in this winter season has gone up by 3% to 16.73 million hectares. The acreage in summer season was also up by 5% to 14 million hectare.
“The production is likely to cross 24 million tonnes this year also meeting the needs of the country. The dependence on imports has been reducing over the years. It has come down to 2-3 million tonnes from 14 million tonnes in last 5-6 years. We are working towards zero import,” said a senior agriculture ministry official.
The government is also focusing on increasing production of oilseeds to reduce dependence on edible oil imports. The country imports 15 million tonnes of edible oil every year resulting into import Bill of Rs 75,000 crore.
“We are surplus in food grains production. We intend to become self sufficient in oilseed and pulses production also,” he said.